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  1. #221
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    Was it really underperformance, or was it that the pre-season prognosticators were unable to properly evaluate a team filled with players they've never seen play at the college level?
    I've been banging this drum for awhile. Posters on here as well as the media "experts" make all sorts of predictions and all sorts of assumptions about this player and that, never having seen any of them play. This guy will bring this skill that will translate to the college level, this guy can or can't play a particular position, this guy will get so many minutes, etc. So often wrong that it's close to meaningless if you haven't seen the guys play. Seeing them play in high school or AAU helps of course, and the rankings are more often closer to right than closer to wrong, but still. You really don't know until the guys step onto a high major college basketball court. We've seen plenty of evidence of this just on this year's team, among many previous ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Not only that, but injuries factor in too.

    In 2019, we finished 3rd in the conference, 2 games out of 1st. But all four our losses were heavily affected by injury: the Syracuse OT loss was without our only PG; the two UNC losses and the VT loss were all without Zion. Without those injuries, we win the ACC.

    In 2016, we finished 5th in the conference. 3 games out of 1st. But that was in large part because we lost Amile Jefferson early in the season. And one other of our losses came without Matt Jones, meaning we literally played six scholarship players plus Nick Pagliuca. I'm not saying we would have won the conference that year, but we'd have finished higher than we did for sure.

    In 2017, we simply never had the team that voters thought we were going to have. Harry Giles, #1 recruit, was barely playable due to his injuries. That team didn't underperform. It just wasn't as good a team for health reasons as folks would have liked. If Giles is anything remotely approximating a #1 recruit in the country, that team finishes WAY better than 6th (and we were only 1 win out of the 2nd spot as it was).

    Obviously this year has been heavily affected as well.

    Yes, 2011 and 2013 were definitely impacted by key injuries as well. And we'd likely have won the conference rather than finishing 2nd those two years had we not suffered those injuries. But on aggregate, injuries have played a bigger role in our ACC regular season rankings in more recent years. So, again, I think it's impressive how similar our results have been with and without the heavy one-and-done approach.
    This analysis fails to consider the impact of injuries suffered by all the other teams too. We're not the only team that gets guys hurt, and has our season affected by those injuries, sometimes in a major way.

    Quote Originally Posted by mkirsh View Post
    Also keep in mind ACC expansion across that period made the schedules less balanced, so some of our results in the "OAD period" were impacted by other teams having easier schedules allowing them to finish a game or two ahead
    And what about the years that the unbalanced schedule resulted in other teams having more difficult schedules than ours?

  2. #222
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    This analysis fails to consider the impact of injuries suffered by all the other teams too. We're not the only team that gets guys hurt, and has our season affected by those injuries, sometimes in a major way.
    It is somewhat rare for the best teams to be affected by massive injury. And when we take a look at the team-by-team analysis each year, we find that - sure enough - injuries affected us more.

    2016: UNC (the champs) had all key players in all the games they lost in conference; UVa (2nd) had all of their key players for every conference game; Miami (3rd) had all of their key players in all of their losses but one; Louisville (4th) had all of their key players for all of their losses; Notre Dame (T5th with us) had all of their key players for every conference game. None of those teams were as affected by injury as we were in losing Amile Jefferson for the entire ACC schedule.

    2017: UNC (1st) had all of their key players for all but one of their losses (missing Hicks for 1 game); Louisville (2nd) had all their key players for 4 of their 6 losses. Notre Dame (3rd) had all of their key players; FSU (4th) had all of their key players; UVa (T5th with us) had all of their players for all of their losses. Again, none of those teams were as affected by injury as we were, with our top recruit and theoretically best player (and a key part of our #1 preseason ranking) being a shell of himself all season.

    2019: UVa (1st) had all their key players for all (2) conference losses, both to Duke; UNC (T-1st) had all of their key players for all conference games. Once again, we had it worse with injuries among the teams relevant in this discussion.

    So, yeah, I stand by my point that injuries do matter when comparing results to preseason prediction (even ignoring the point that preseason predictions are totally worthless).

    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    And what about the years that the unbalanced schedule resulted in other teams having more difficult schedules than ours?
    Well, we have typically had one of the hardest schedules of any of the contenders, by virtue of always having UNC twice. That has shifted a bit in recent years of course. But I suspect that the unbalanced schedule has almost always worked against us. That being said, I certainly wouldn't consider it a major determinant.

  3. #223
    Quote Originally Posted by FerryFor50 View Post
    All Duke really needs from Whitehead are rebounds, defense and outside shooting. Anything else is gravy.

    Guard play has definitely been an issue and I noticed that teams that successfully speed Duke/Roach/Proctor up are major problems. Duke plays best when they can control a slower pace.
    our guard play has been weak this year. Not only do we really only have 2 ball-handling guards who are very inefficient scorers, but neither of them is very powerful. Roach is quick, and wiry strong, but he can get pushed around by bigger guards, and Proctor is very slight, and easily pushed around, although he is quite tall for a guard. Miami has guards that were really able to exploit not just the guards that we have, but also the fact that we don't have any more quality guards. Blakes is a good defender, but he is not a quality guard. Grandison can shoot some, and make decent passes from the wing, but is also not a guard.
    I think the weakness of the guard play, and the lack of developing any other way of consistently initiating offense, is going to be the thing that determines Duke's tournament successes. Bold statement, I know. If the coaches can't figure out a way to initiate offense in some other way than using Roach and Proctor, then teams with a roster of bigger guards are going to push Duke around and strangle the offense.

  4. #224

    The third way

    Quote Originally Posted by Southgate0809 View Post
    I think having a meaningful senior on the team really makes a differences for me. I wish Wendell Moore was that guy this year. I loved the 2019 team, but they unique, so I won't use that year to make any points. Some teams just randomly seem more likable or easy to connect with, but I do think there's a major difference when you don't have a senior that is important to the team. So, I don't mean Joey Baker or Jack White. Not that they didn't deserve appreciation, but it's different when you have Grayson Allen or Quinn Cook.
    There is a good way of getting productive upper classmen that Bitiní Beard was using before he got his walking papers at Texas. He was recruiting guys with a couple of years of college ball who had turned out to be better than anyone thought when they were in high school. These players are ready on day one and they arenít looking to go to the NBA right away, so itís a relatively risk-free way of recruiting good players who can complement the one and dones, and this option will still be available once the graduate transfer market dries up when recruits no longer have a Covid year. I would expect that there would be plenty of good rising juniors who would love to play at Duke, and it would avoid starting four freshmen who often have growing pains or play very well one game and disappear the next.

  5. #225
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Texas

    Avoiding the Hangover

    We know little about the team's off-court routine (as it should be) other than practice and travel schedules. I wonder rhetorically what can be done to better prepare the team (mostly physically) for these quick turnaround games. I have no doubt there is much thought put into the timing for sleep, nutrition, academics, travel and pre-game preparation.

    With only two days between games, coming off an emotional rivalry game, in a rival's rowdy arena, is it really inevitable that the team should be flat-footed, slow and error-prone? Is there nothing that can be done to overcome this (mostly physical) hangover? Surely the organization recognizes the issue and has experimented with and had some success with preparing the team for these situations. Maybe they have and it would be worse otherwise?

    I just don't comprehend why there is so much variation in performance from game to game, with known schedules, scouting reports and injury reports. Yes, of course its harder with Freshmen and with real academics to deal with, but you just use the tutors, the scouts, the trainers, the coaches and the sports psychologists to provide the foundation to navigate the peaks and valleys of a tough, long season. Its nothing new.

    I'm just venting and I suppose the answer is if they were all upper classmen and had been through this many times before they would be better prepared, more consistent and better able to overcome the physical and mental obstacles. Maybe what we see is the best that they can do? I don't know the answer but I'm not convinced.

  6. #226
    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleBlue View Post

    With only two days between games, coming off an emotional rivalry game, in a rival's rowdy arena, is it really inevitable that the team should be flat-footed, slow and error-prone? Is there nothing that can be done to overcome this (mostly physical) hangover? Surely the organization recognizes the issue and has experimented with and had some success with preparing the team for these situations. Maybe they have and it would be worse otherwise?
    .
    Honestly, it probably is inevitable to some degree. Mondayís game would have been a scheduled loss in the NBA, and Scheyer more or less treated it like one in the 2nd half (at least after Miamiís run to start the 2nd). Iím of the mind that 18-19 year old elite athletes can run up and down the floor all day every day without often getting tired, but the mental aspect of playing in a supercharged environment Saturday night, then having to travel the next day and play a good team in their gym - itís a lot. There are limits to what the staff can do about that.

  7. #227
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    It is somewhat rare for the best teams to be affected by massive injury. And when we take a look at the team-by-team analysis each year, we find that - sure enough - injuries affected us more.

    2016: UNC (the champs) had all key players in all the games they lost in conference; UVa (2nd) had all of their key players for every conference game; Miami (3rd) had all of their key players in all of their losses but one; Louisville (4th) had all of their key players for all of their losses; Notre Dame (T5th with us) had all of their key players for every conference game. None of those teams were as affected by injury as we were in losing Amile Jefferson for the entire ACC schedule.

    2017: UNC (1st) had all of their key players for all but one of their losses (missing Hicks for 1 game); Louisville (2nd) had all their key players for 4 of their 6 losses. Notre Dame (3rd) had all of their key players; FSU (4th) had all of their key players; UVa (T5th with us) had all of their players for all of their losses. Again, none of those teams were as affected by injury as we were, with our top recruit and theoretically best player (and a key part of our #1 preseason ranking) being a shell of himself all season.

    2019: UVa (1st) had all their key players for all (2) conference losses, both to Duke; UNC (T-1st) had all of their key players for all conference games. Once again, we had it worse with injuries among the teams relevant in this discussion.

    So, yeah, I stand by my point that injuries do matter when comparing results to preseason prediction (even ignoring the point that preseason predictions are totally worthless).



    Well, we have typically had one of the hardest schedules of any of the contenders, by virtue of always having UNC twice. That has shifted a bit in recent years of course. But I suspect that the unbalanced schedule has almost always worked against us. That being said, I certainly wouldn't consider it a major determinant.
    Point of order that doesn't actually pertain to the injury point at all: 2017 UVA had its projected best player*, Austin Nichols, for exactly one game. A self-inflicted wound, to be sure, but a wound nonetheless.

    *Or second-best, depending on how you feel about London Perrantes, who I was surprised to learn was a first-team preseason all-ACC pick that year. If nothing else, that year showed that he was miscast as an alpha dog.

  8. #228
    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleBlue View Post
    With only two days between games, coming off an emotional rivalry game, in a rival's rowdy arena, is it really inevitable that the team should be flat-footed, slow and error-prone? Is there nothing that can be done to overcome this (mostly physical) hangover? Surely the organization recognizes the issue and has experimented with and had some success with preparing the team for these situations. Maybe they have and it would be worse otherwise?
    We've now played 24 Monday-after-Saturday games since the ACC instituted this sort of scheduling in the 2013-14 season. Our record in those games is 15-9. Of our nine losses, seven of them have been one possession games. So not only is it not inevitable, it hasn't really happened that way to Duke. I don't think we can blame this loss on the Saturday/Monday turnaround. I think we just laid an egg.

  9. #229
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NC
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkstarWahoo View Post
    Point of order that doesn't actually pertain to the injury point at all: 2017 UVA had its projected best player*, Austin Nichols, for exactly one game. A self-inflicted wound, to be sure, but a wound nonetheless.

    *Or second-best, depending on how you feel about London Perrantes, who I was surprised to learn was a first-team preseason all-ACC pick that year. If nothing else, that year showed that he was miscast as an alpha dog.
    A fair point about Nichols, and with him maybe UVa also charges up the standings.

  10. #230
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    We've now played 24 Monday-after-Saturday games since the ACC instituted this sort of scheduling in the 2013-14 season. Our record in those games is 15-9. Of our nine losses, seven of them have been one possession games. So not only is it not inevitable, it hasn't really happened that way to Duke. I don't think we can blame this loss on the Saturday/Monday turnaround. I think we just laid an egg.
    Youíd know better than me, but I donít recall any of those being Heels on Saturday night/ road game vs upper echelon team turnarounds. This was a particularly daunting task.

  11. #231
    Quote Originally Posted by Matches View Post
    Youíd know better than me, but I donít recall any of those being Heels on Saturday night/ road game vs upper echelon team turnarounds. This was a particularly daunting task.
    This was the 3rd time we've had a Monday game after a UNC game on Saturday. We split the previous two games. The win was at home against FSU after an OT win over UNC in 2020. The loss was also at home, a one-point loss to Virginia, after we blew UNC out by 20 on Saturday.

    I can't imagine the home/road thing is the difference between winning/a one possession loss and a 22 point debacle.

  12. #232
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Princeton, NJ
    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    This was the 3rd time we've had a Monday game after a UNC game on Saturday. We split the previous two games. The win was at home against FSU after an OT win over UNC in 2020. The loss was also at home, a one-point loss to Virginia, after we blew UNC out by 20 on Saturday.

    I can't imagine the home/road thing is the difference between winning/a one possession loss and a 22 point debacle.
    In terms of big challenges with short turnaround, we also beat Syracuse 2 days after beating top 10 Virginia in 2021. That 2-day turnaround happened because Syracuse was rescheduled due to weather.

  13. #233

    3- 4 years to bond

    Quote Originally Posted by Kedsy View Post
    I don't entirely agree with this. At least for me. I get involved enough each season to feel a special rooting bond for Duke's players from that season. I don't have to see them over a span of years. But it's possible I'm unusual in that regard. YMMV.



    I completely disagree with this. From 2007 to 2014, despite having many returning veterans and not so many OADs, Duke won just one regular season title, and that was a tie, so no outright regular season titles. From 2015 to 2022 (same number of seasons), despite having relatively few returning veterans and many OADs, Duke won the exact same number of regular season titles (and that one was outright).

    The era during which Duke got lots of top 10 and top 25 freshmen and they almost all stayed four years may have been good for winning regular season titles. That era is gone and is completely unrealistic to contemplate today.



    If fans are truly "hardcore," how hard is it to spend a few hours learning the new faces at the beginning of a season? Again, YMMV.



    Again, mostly disagree. KenPom's final defensive rank from 2007 to 2022, as follows:

    2007: 6
    2008: 7
    2009: 28
    2010: 5
    2011: 9
    2012: 79
    2013: 26
    2014: 86

    2015: 11
    2016: 86
    2017: 47
    2018: 9
    2019: 6
    2020: 12
    2021: 79
    2022: 49

    In the veteran-heavy years from 2007 to 2014, Duke had four good defensive teams (#5, #6, #7, & #9). The freshman-heavy years from 2015 to 2022 also featured four good defensive teams (#6, #9, #11, & #12).

    In the years from 2007 to 2014, Duke had four middling-to-poor defensive teams (#26, #28, #79, #86). The years from 2015 to 2022 also featured four middling-to-poor defensive teams (#47, #49, #79, #86).

    The teams towards the middle (2009 and 2013 vs. 2017 and 2022) were a bit better with veteran teams, but not incredibly so, and the others were surprisingly similar. So, overall, while I agree that college players get better at defense as they gain experience, overall team defense seems much more dependent on whether your players are good defensive players or not, regardless of age.
    Sure, I can and do learn who is on the team these days and I form mild psychological attachments. But nothing like the emotional attachments I felt with players who I watched [and maybe met] as freshmen. Isn't it like any other relationship? If the valence is positive, more time to interact deepens the bond.

    Seeing Jon, Nolan, Quinn, Amile, Kyle, Mason, et al develop over 3 - 4 year years has created a rich memory storehouse with an enduring, appreciative bond that our one year players cannot create for me. Totally not their fault or problem of course.

    Not pining for days gone by, just want to express how appreciative I am to have had the opportunity for. a couple of decades to watch young frosh grow into mature juniors and seniors.
    ďI love it. Coach, when we came here, we had a three-hour meeting about the core values. If you really represent the core values, it means diving on the floor, sacrificing your body for your teammates, no matter how much youíre up by or how much youíre down by, always playing hard.Ē -- Zion

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